Pal Joey (musical)
Pal Joey is a musical with a book by John O'Hara and music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The musical is based on a character and situations O'Hara created in a series of short stories published in The New Yorker, which he published in novel form; the title character, Joey Evans, is a manipulative small-time nightclub performer whose ambitions lead him into an affair with the wealthy, middle-aged and married Vera Simpson. It includes two songs that have become standards: "I Could Write a Book" and "Bewitched and Bewildered"; the original 1940 Broadway production was directed by George Abbott and starred Vivienne Segal and Gene Kelly. Though it received mixed reviews, the show ran for 10 months, the third-longest run of any Rodgers and Hart musical. There have been several revivals since, including a 2008–09 Broadway run, a 1957 film adaptation starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Author John O'Hara offered his stories of Pal Joey to Rodgers and Hart for adaptation as a new musical.
Title character Joey Evans, an unsympathetic but charming antihero, was a striking departure from the usual musical comedy formula. Joey was amoral. Richard Rodgers said: "Joey was not disreputable because he was mean, but because he had too much imagination to behave himself, because he was a little weak." Rodgers and Hart maintained a cynical, dark tone throughout the work and employed two distinct musical styles in the show: the deliberately tacky nightclub numbers contrasted with the more elegant songs the characters sang to express their emotions, though these expressions were more ironic than sincere. Hart's lyrics frankly described Vera's affair. There's one for play and one for show"; as they cast the musical, Hart and O'Hara knew that they wanted Joey to be a dancer, not a singer, the actor who played Joey would have to be likeable in spite of Joey's unpleasant character. They chose Gene Kelly, at the time playing a dancing role, Harry the Hoofer, in the play The Time of Your Life. Kelly had made his Broadway debut in 1938 in the chorus of Cole Porter's Leave It to Me!.
Rodgers and Hart wanted Vivienne Segal, who had starred in their 1938 musical I Married an Angel, to play the older woman with whom Joey has an affair. Segal, who would be 43 when the show opened on Broadway, appreciated the opportunity to play a worldly, mature character, unlike the ingenues she had played for most of her career. Using Segal's initials, O'Hara gave her character the name "Vera Simpson". O'Hara was not present during the out-of-town tryouts, director George Abbott took over the rewriting; when the show opened in New York, the critics were divided. Richard Watts called it "brilliant", but other critics and members of the theatre-going public disliked the subject matter. Nonetheless, it became. Based on original 1940 book Act IIn Chicago in the late 1930s, singer/dancer Joey Evans, a charming "heel" with big plans, schemes to get his own nightclub, he auditions for an emcee job at a second-rate nightclub. Joey begins rehearsals with the chorus girls and club singer Gladys Bumps. Joey meets young and naïve Linda English outside a pet shop, he impresses her with grandiose lies about his career.
Linda innocently falls for Joey's line. As the chorus girls are doing a song-and-dance number at the club that night, Linda arrives with a date. Wealthy married socialite Vera Simpson shows a definite interest in Joey. Joey plays hard-to-get and insults Vera. Mike, the club owner, fires Joey, but Joey, believing Vera will be back, strikes a deal: if Vera doesn't come back within the next few days, Joey will leave without pay; the chorus girls continue with the show. Vera doesn't return, so Joey is fired; when Linda refuses to answer his calls, Joey calls Vera. After Joey's last night as emcee, Vera picks him up from the club and they start an affair. Vera sets Joey up with an apartment and expensive clothes. While shopping for clothes for Joey, Vera and he run into Linda, leaving Vera jealous and Linda distraught. Vera gives Joey his own nightclub, "Chez Joey," and Joey looks forward to rising to the top. Act IIThe chorus girls and singers from the old club have relocated to "Chez Joey," where they rehearse for the opening performance.
Melba, an ambitious reporter, interviews Joey, recalling her interviews with various celebrities, including Gypsy Rose Lee. Ludlow Lowell, Gladys' old flame, introduces himself as an agent with papers that Joey unthinkingly signs as the rehearsal continues. In Joey's apartment the next morning and Vera reflect on the pleasures of their affair. Linda overhears Gladys and Lowell plotting to use the
A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line is a concept musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centered on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line, the musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, A Chorus Line opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway July 25, 1975, directed by Michael Bennett and co-choreographed by Bennett and Bob Avian. An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received twelve Tony Award nominations and won nine, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; the original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history until surpassed by Cats in 1997, the longest-running Broadway musical produced in the US, until surpassed in 2011 by Chicago.
It remains the seventh longest-running Broadway show ever. A Chorus Line's success has spawned many successful productions worldwide, it began a lengthy run in the West End in 1976 and was revived on Broadway in 2006, in the West End in 2013. The show opens in the middle of an audition for an upcoming Broadway production; the formidable director Zach and his assistant choreographer Larry put the dancers through their paces. Every dancer is desperate for work. After the next round of cuts, 17 dancers remain. Zach tells them he is looking for a strong dancing chorus of four girls, he wants to learn more about them, asks the dancers to introduce themselves. With reluctance, the dancers reveal their pasts; the stories progress chronologically from early life experiences through adulthood to the end of a career. The first candidate, explains that he is the youngest of 12 children, he recalls his first experience with dance, watching his sister's dance class when he was a pre-schooler. Mike took her place one day when she refused to go to class—and he stayed.
Bobby tries to hide the unhappiness of his childhood by making jokes. As he speaks, the other dancers have misgivings about this strange audition process and debate what they should reveal to Zach, but since they all need the job, the session continues. Zach is angered. Opening up, she reveals that her mother married at a young age and her father neither loved nor cared for them; when she was six, she realized that ballet provided relief from her unhappy family life, as did Bebe and Maggie. The scatter-brained Kristine is tone-deaf, her lament that she could never sing is interrupted by her husband Al finishing her phrases in tune. Mark, the youngest of the dancers, relates his first experiences with pictures of the female anatomy and his first wet dream, while the other dancers share memories of adolescence; the 4'10" Connie laments the problems of being short, Diana Morales recollects her horrible high school acting class. Don remembers his first job at a nightclub and Judy reflects on her problematic childhood while some of the auditionees talk about their opinion of their parents.
Greg speaks about his discovery of his homosexuality and Richie recounts how he nearly became a kindergarten teacher. The newly buxom Val explains that talent alone doesn't count for everything with casting directors, silicone and plastic surgery can help; the dancers go downstairs to learn a song for the next section of the audition, but Cassie stays onstage to talk to Zach. She is a veteran dancer, they have a history together: Zach had cast her in a featured part and they had lived together for several years. Zach tells Cassie that she shouldn't be at this audition, but she hasn't been able to find solo work and is willing to "come home" to the chorus where she can at least express her passion for dance. Zach sends her downstairs to learn the dance combination. Zach calls Paul, reluctant to share his past, on stage for a private talk, he relives his childhood and high school experience, his early career in a drag act, coming to terms with his manhood and his homosexuality, his parents' ultimate reaction to finding out about his lifestyle.
Paul is comforted by Zach. Cassie and Zach's complex relationship resurfaces during a run-through of the number created to showcase an unnamed star. Zach confronts Cassie, feeling that she is "dancing down," and they rehash what went wrong in their relationship and her career. Zach points to the machine-like dancing of the rest of the cast—the other dancers who have all blended together, who will never be recognized individually—and mockingly asks if this is what she wants. Cassie defiantly defends the dancers: "I’d be proud to be one of them. They’re wonderful.... They’re all special. I’d be happy to be dancing in that line. Yes, I would...." During a tap sequence, Paul falls and injures his knee that underwent surgery. After Paul is carried off to the hospital, all at the audition stand in disbelief, realizing that their careers can end in an instant. Zach asks the remaining dancers. Led by Diana, they reply; the final eight dancers are selected: Mik
Crazy for You (musical)
Crazy for You is a romantic comedy musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin. Billed as "The New Gershwin Musical Comedy", it is based on the songwriting team’s 1930 musical, Girl Crazy, but incorporates songs from several other productions as well. Crazy for You won the 1992 Tony Award 1993 Olivier Award and 1994 Dora Award for Best Musical; the Broadway production was choreographed by Susan Stroman. It was produced by Roger Horchow, Elizabeth Williams, with associate producers Richard Godwin, Valerie Gordon. After a Washington, D. C. tryout and 10 previews, it opened at the Shubert Theatre on February 19, 1992, ran for 1,622 performances. The cast included Jodi Benson as Polly, Harry Groener as Bobby Child, Bruce Adler as Bela Zangler, John Hillner as Lank Hawkins, Michele Pawk as Irene Roth, Jane Connell as Mother, Beth Leavel as Tess, Ronn Carroll as Everett Baker, Stephen Temperley and Amelia White as Eugene and Patricia Fodor; the Manhattan Rhythm Kings played cowboys Mingo and Sam, singing in their trademark close harmony.
In his review in The New York Times, Frank Rich wrote, "When future historians try to find the exact moment at which Broadway rose up to grab the musical back from the British, they just may conclude that the revolution began last night. The shot was fired at the Shubert Theater, where a riotously entertaining show called Crazy for You uncorked the American musical’s classic blend of music, dancing and showmanship with a freshness and confidence seen during the Cats decade... Crazy for You scrapes away decades of cabaret and jazz and variety-show interpretations to reclaim the Gershwins’ standards, in all their glorious youth, for the dynamism of the stage."A cast album was released by Angel Records. The West End production, directed by Ockrent, choreographed by Stroman, starring Ruthie Henshall, Kirby Ward, Chris Langham, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on March 3, 1993 and ran for nearly three years. On October 20, 1999, the PBS series Great Performances broadcast a production directed by Matthew Diamond, nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction of a Variety or Music Program.
On October 18, 2009, a showtime challenge, charity gala performance of Crazy for You, directed by Katherine Hare and choreographed by Racky Plews was staged by Eyebrow Productions at the London Palladium. Eyebrow are well known for their unique Showtime Challenges, where all aspects of the show are rehearsed and performed in 48 hours. All proceeds went to Cecily's Fund. In 2011, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre did a revival of Crazy for You as part of the 2011 Summer Season; the production moved to the West End, at the Novello Theatre where it ran from October 8, 2011 to March 17, 2012. The Off-West End premiere of Crazy For You, directed by John Plews, choreographed by Grant Murphy and musically directed by Oliver John Ruthven, ran at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate from December 13, 2012 to January 27, 2013; the production made use of a smaller ensemble with cast doubling, a six-piece band. In summer 2016 a UK revival opened at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury starring Tom Chambers as Bobby and Caroline Sheen as Polly.
The production began touring the UK from August 2017 to June 2018 starring Chambers reprising his role as Bobby, Caroline Flack as Irene and Charlotte Wakefield as Polly. Claire Sweeney replaced Flack as Irene halfway through the tour. In the 2017 concert production of Crazy for You at the Lincoln Center, the cast was joined by choirs across the world including Denver School of the Arts. Patsy – Stacey Logan Sheila – Judine Hawkins Richard Mitzi – Paula Leggett Susie – Ida Henry Louise – Jean Marie Betsy – Penny Ayn Maas Margie – Salome Mazard Vera – Louise Ruck Elaine – Pamela Everett Swing – Maryellen Scilla Mingo – Tripp Hanson Moose – Brian M. Nalepka Sam – Harold Shane Junior – Casey Nicholaw Pete – Fred Anderson Jimmy – Michael Kubala Billy – Ray Roderick Wyatt – Jeffrey Lee Broadhurst Harry – Joel Goodness Custus – Gerry BurkhardtNote: While Eugene Fodor was the real-life founder of Fodor's Travel Guides, the character in the musical is fictionalized; the real Eugene Fodor was Hungarian-American, not British, his first travel book was about Europe.
≠ Lyrics by Gus Kahn and Ira Gershwin ≠≠ Lyrics by Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin Act 1Backstage at the Zangler Theater in New York in the 1930s, the last performance of the Zangler Follies is wrapping up for the season, Tess, the Dance Director, is dodging the advances of the married Bela Zangler. Bobby Child, the rich son of a banking family, is backstage hoping for an audition with Mr. Zangler. Bobby performs "K-ra-zy for You," but fails to impress Zangler, having landed on Zangler's foot during the final flourish of his dance routine. Dejected, Bobby heads outside. Bobby is met by Irene, the wealthy woman to whom he has been engaged for five years, by his mother, who demands that Bobby take over her piece of the banking business. Bobby is told to go to Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theater; as the women argue over him, Bobby imagines himself dancing with the Follies Girls and joins them in a rousing rendition of "I Can't Be Bothered Now." Brought back to reality, Bobby decides to escape to Nevada.
When Bobby arrives in Deadrock, it's clear. The men, who are cowboys, sing "Bidin' My Time" in a slow drawl. Everett Baker receives a letter from New York warning of the bank foreclosing on the Gaiety Theater; the only woman left in this forlorn town is Everett's daughter, the spunky Polly Baker, who vows to get wi
A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples, its title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The musical includes the popular song "Send In the Clowns". Since its original 1973 Broadway production, the musical has enjoyed professional productions in the West End, by opera companies, in a 2009 Broadway revival, elsewhere, it is a popular choice for regional groups, it was adapted for film in 1977, with Harold Prince directing and Elizabeth Taylor, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down, Diana Rigg starring. The setting is Sweden, around the year 1900. One by one, the Quintet – five singers who comment like a Greek chorus throughout the show – enter, tuning up, their vocalizing becomes an overture blending fragments of "Remember", "Soon" and "The Glamorous Life", leading into the first "Night Waltz".
The other characters enter waltzing, each uncomfortable with her partner. After they drift back off, the aging and sardonic Madam Armfeldt and her solemn granddaughter, enter. Madam Armfeldt tells the child that the summer night "smiles" three times: first on the young, second on fools, third on the old. Fredrika vows to watch the smiles occur. Middle-aged Fredrik Egerman is a successful lawyer, he has married an 18-year-old trophy wife, Anne, a naive girl who loves Fredrik but is too immature to grasp the concept of marriage. The two have been married for eleven months. Fredrik plots how he might seduce his wife. Meanwhile, his son Henrik, a seminary student a year older than his stepmother, is frustrated and ignored. Anne promises her husband that shortly she will consent to have sex, which leads into all three of them lamenting at once. Anne's maidservant Petra, an experienced and forthright girl older than the teen herself, offers her worldly but crass advice. Desiree Armfeldt is a prominent and glamorous actress, now reduced to touring in small towns.
Madam Armfeldt, Desiree's mother, has taken over the care of Desiree's daughter Fredrika. Fredrika misses her mother, but Desiree continually delays going to see her, somewhat "The Glamorous Life", she is performing near Fredrik's home, Fredrik brings Anne to see the play. While there, Desiree notices Fredrik in the audience. Anne and annoyed at Desiree's amorous glances, demands that Fredrik take her home immediately. Meanwhile, Petra tries to seduce a petulant Henrik; that night, as Fredrik remembers his past with Desiree, he sneaks out to see her. They reflect on their new lives, Fredrik tries to explain how much he loves Anne. Desiree responds sarcastically and boasts of her own adultery, as she has been seeing the married dragoon, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. Upon learning that Fredrik has gone for eleven months without sex, she agrees to accommodate him as a favor for an old friend. Madam Armfeldt offers advice to young Fredrika; the elderly woman reflects poignantly on her own checkered past, wonders what happened to her refined "Liaisons".
Back in Desiree's apartment, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm proclaims his unannounced arrival in his usual booming tones. Fredrik and Desiree fob off the Count with an innocent explanation for their disheveled appearance, but he is still suspicious, he dislikes Fredrik and returns to his wife, Countess Charlotte. Charlotte is quite aware of her husband's infidelity, but Carl-Magnus is too absorbed in his suspicions of Desiree to talk to her; when she persuades him to blurt out the whole story, a twist is revealed—Charlotte's little sister is a schoolfriend of Anne's. Charlotte describes Fredrik's tryst with Desiree. Anne is shocked and saddened, but Charlotte explains that such is the lot of a wife, love brings pain. Meanwhile, Desiree asks Madam Armfeldt to host a party for Fredrik and Henrik. Though reluctant, Madam Armfeldt agrees, she sends out a personal invitation. Anne does not want to accept the invitation, but Charlotte convinces her to do so to heighten the contrast between the older woman and the young and beautiful teenager.
Charlotte relates this to the Count. Carl-Magnus plans to challenge Fredrik to a duel, while Charlotte hopes to seduce the lawyer to make her husband jealous and end his philandering; the act ends. Madam Armfeldt's country estate is bathed in the golden glow of perpetual summer sunset at this high latitude. Everyone arrives, each with their own amorous purposes and desires—even Petra, who catches the eye of Armfeldt's fetching manservant, Frid; the women begin to quarrel with one another. Fredrik is astonished to learn the name of Desiree's daughter. Henrik meets Fredrika, confesses his deep love for Anne to her. Meanwhile, in the garden and Carl-Magnus reflect on how difficult it is to be annoyed with Desiree, agreeing "It Would Have Been Wonderful" had she not been quite so wonderful. Dinner is served, the characters' "Perpetual Anticipation" enlivens the meal. At dinner, Charlotte attempts to flirt with Fredrik, trades insults with Desiree. Soon, everyone is shouting and scolding everyone else, except for Henrik, who speaks up.
He accuses the whole company of
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company was a professional light opera company that staged Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy operas nearly year-round in the UK and sometimes toured in Europe, North America and elsewhere, from the 1870s until 1982. The company was revived for short seasons and tours from 1988 to 2003, with Scottish Opera it co-produced two productions. In 1875, Richard D'Oyly Carte asked the dramatist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan to collaborate on a short comic opera to round out an evening's entertainment; when that work, Trial by Jury, became a success, Carte put together a syndicate to produce a full-length Gilbert and Sullivan work, The Sorcerer, followed by H. M. S. Pinafore. After Pinafore became an international sensation, Carte jettisoned his difficult investors and formed a new partnership with Gilbert and Sullivan that became the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company; the company produced the succeeding ten Gilbert and Sullivan operas and many other operas and companion pieces at the Savoy Theatre in London, which Carte built in 1881 for that purpose.
The company mounted tours in Britain, New York and elsewhere running several companies simultaneously. Carte's able assistant, Helen Lenoir, became his wife in 1888 and, after his death in 1901, she ran the company until her own death in 1913. By this time, it had become a year-round Sullivan touring repertory company. Carte's son Rupert inherited the company. Beginning in 1919, he mounted new seasons in London with new set and costume designs, while continuing the year-round tours in Britain and abroad. With the help of the director J. M. Gordon and the conductor Isidore Godfrey, Carte ran the company for 35 years, he redesigned the Savoy Theatre in 1928 and sponsored a series of recordings over the years that helped to keep the operas popular. After Rupert's death in 1948, his daughter Bridget inherited the company and hired Frederic Lloyd as general manager; the company continued to tour for 35 weeks each year, issue new recordings and play London seasons of Gilbert and Sullivan. In 1961, the last copyright on the Gilbert and Sullivan operas expired, Bridget set up and endowed a charitable trust that presented the operas until mounting costs and a lack of public funding forced the closure of the company in 1982.
It re-formed in 1988 with a legacy left by Bridget D'Oyly Carte, played short tours and London seasons, issued some popular recordings. Denied significant funding from the English Arts Council, it suspended productions in 2003. With Scottish Opera, it co-produced The Pirates of Penzance 2013 and The Mikado in 2016; some of the company's performers, over the decades, became stars of their day and moved on to careers in musical theatre or grand opera. The company licensed the operas for performance in Australasia and to numerous amateur troupes in Britain and elsewhere, providing orchestra parts and prompt books for hire; the company kept the Savoy operas in the public eye for over a century and left an enduring legacy of production styles and stage business that continue to be emulated in new productions, as well as recordings. By 1874, Richard D'Oyly Carte, a musician and ambitious young impresario, had begun producing operettas in London, he announced his ambitions on the front of the programme for one of his productions that year: "It is my desire to establish in London a permanent abode for light opera."
The Observer reported, "Mr D'Oyly Carte is not only a skilful manager, but a trained musician, he appears to have grasped the fact that the public are beginning to become weary of what is known as a genuine opera bouffe, are ready to welcome a musical entertainment of a higher order, such as a musician might produce with satisfaction". He wanted to establish a body of tasteful English comic opera that would appeal to families, in contrast to the bawdy burlesques and adaptations of French operettas and opera bouffes that dominated the London musical stage at that time. In early 1875, Carte was managing London's Royalty Theatre. Needing a short piece to round out an evening's entertainment featuring the popular Offenbach operetta La Périchole he brought W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan together. On tour in 1871, Carte had conducted Arthur Sullivan's one-act comic opera Cox and Box, which received an 1874 London revival. In 1873, W. S. Gilbert had offered a libretto to Carte about an English courtroom, but at the time Carte knew of no composer available to set it to music.
Carte remembered Gilbert's libretto and suggested to Gilbert that Sullivan write the music for a one-act comic opera, Trial by Jury, composed and added to the Royalty's bill in March 1875. The witty and "very English" little piece proved more popular than La Périchole and became the first great success of Carte's scheme to found his school of English comic opera, playing for 300 performances from 1875 to 1877, as well as touring and enjoying many revivals. At the Theatre Royal, in Dublin, Ireland in September 1875, while there managing the first tour of Trial by Jury, Carte met a young Scottish actress, Helen Lenoir, she became fascinated by his vision for establishing a company to promote English comic opera and gave up her next engagement to join his theatrical organisation as his secretary. Lenoir was well-educated, her grasp of detail and diplomacy, as well as her organisational ability and business acumen, surpassed Carte's, she became intensely involved in all of his business affairs and soon managed many of the company's responsibilities concerning touring.
She travelled to America numerous times over the years to arrange the details of the company's New York engagements and American tours. Still, Carte continued to produce continental operetta, touring in the summer of 1876 with a repertoire c
Broadway theatre known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world; the Theater District is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. According to The Broadway League, for the 2017–2018 season total attendance was 13,792,614 and Broadway shows had US$1,697,458,795 in grosses, with attendance up 3.9%, grosses up 17.1%, playing weeks up 2.8%. The majority of Broadway shows are musicals. Historian Martin Shefter argues that "'Broadway musicals', culminating in the productions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, became enormously influential forms of American popular culture" and contributed to making New York City the cultural capital of the Western Hemisphere.
New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager, they established a theatre in Williamsburg and opened with The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist. The company moved to New York in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida; the Revolutionary War suspended theatre in New York, but thereafter theatre resumed in 1798, the year the 2,000-seat Park Theatre was built on Chatham Street. The Bowery Theatre opened followed by others. By the 1840s, P. T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in Lower Manhattan. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo's Garden opened and soon became one of New York's premiere nightspots.
The 3,000-seat theatre presented all sorts of non-musical entertainments. In 1844, Palmo's Opera House opened and presented opera for only four seasons before bankruptcy led to its rebranding as a venue for plays under the name Burton's Theatre; the Astor Opera House opened in 1847. A riot broke out in 1849 when the lower-class patrons of the Bowery objected to what they perceived as snobbery by the upper class audiences at Astor Place: "After the Astor Place Riot of 1849, entertainment in New York City was divided along class lines: opera was chiefly for the upper middle and upper classes, minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class, variety shows in concert saloons for men of the working class and the slumming middle class."The plays of William Shakespeare were performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by American actor Edwin Booth, internationally known for his performance as Hamlet. Booth played the role for a famous 100 consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865, would revive the role at his own Booth's Theatre.
Other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era were Henry Irving, Tommaso Salvini, Fanny Davenport, Charles Fechter. Theatre in New York moved from downtown to midtown beginning around 1850, seeking less expensive real estate. In the beginning of the 19th century, the area that now comprises the Theater District was owned by a handful of families and comprised a few farms. In 1836, Mayor Cornelius Lawrence opened 42nd Street and invited Manhattanites to "enjoy the pure clean air." Close to 60 years theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I built the iconic Victoria Theater on West 42nd Street. Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called The Elves in 1857. In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square, by the end of the century, many theatres were near Madison Square. Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square area until the early 1900s, the Broadway theatres did not consolidate there until a large number of theatres were built around the square in the 1920s and 1930s.
New York runs continued to lag far behind those in London, but Laura Keene's "musical burletta" The Seven Sisters shattered previous New York records with a run of 253 performances. It was at a performance by Keene's troupe of Our American Cousin in Washington, D. C. that Abraham Lincoln was shot. The first theatre piece that conforms to the modern conception of a musical, adding dance and original music that helped to tell the story, is considered to be The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866; the production was five-and-a-half hours long, but despite its length, it ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a "musical comedy". Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where Lillian Russell performed. Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 and 1890, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father-in-law David Braham.
These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward from vaudeville and burlesque, towards a more literate form. They starred high quality singers, instead of the women of questionable repute who had starred in earlier m
Here's Love is a musical with a book and lyrics by Meredith Willson. Based on the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, it tells the tale of a skeptical little girl who doubts the existence of Santa Claus; when the real Kris Kringle inadvertently is hired to represent jolly St. Nick in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he must convince the child and her cynical divorced mother that he's the genuine article; the Broadway production, directed by Stuart Ostrow and choreographed by Michael Kidd, opened on October 3, 1963 at the Shubert Theatre, closed on July 25, 1964 after 334 performances and 2 previews. The cast included Laurence Naismith, Janis Paige, Craig Stevens, Lisa Kirk, Fred Gwynne, Kathy Cody, Michael Bennett, Baayork Lee; the original director, Norman Jewison, was replaced by the producer, during rehearsals. The Toronto Civic Light Opera Company has produced Here's Love twice, with significant musical and book revisions by artistic director, Joe Cascone, their first production ran in December 1994, a more elaborate staging was presented in December 2007.
This show been titled It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical. The song "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" was written by Willson in 1951 and used in the musical where it is sung in counterpoint to the newly composed "Pinecones and Holly Berries". Susan Walker and her mother, live alone in New York City in the 1960s. Doris works in an executive position at Macy's and, at the start of the musical, is busy organizing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Susan meets an ex-marine named Fred Gaily, who takes it upon himself to rid her of her "realistic" outlook on life by taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy's. Kris manages to win Susan over while love blooms between Doris; the second act sees Kris appearing in the New York Supreme Court, with Fred helping him defend his sanity. In the conclusion, Fred uses the Post Office to prove to the court that Santa Claus does exist: Kris Kringle is he. Valerie Lee - Susan Walker Janis Paige - Doris Walker Laurence Naismith - Kris Kringle Craig Stevens - Fred Gaily Fred Gwynne - Mr. Shellhammer Paul Reed - Mr. Macy Kathy Cody - Hendrika Broadway Here's Love at guidetomusicaltheatre.com Here's Love at the Internet Broadway Database